With Tina Fey's most generous run as Sarah Palin now over and the character retired, and Amy Poehler off to embrace motherhood, Saturday Night Live saw need to fortify its female ranks. Thus, the long-running sketch show has added two new faces to its ensemble: Abby Elliott and Michaela Watkins.
The daughter of onetime Letterman sidekick Chris Elliott and granddaughter of veteran comic Bob Elliott (of Bob and Ray fame), Abby comes to SNL via the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater — the improv group co-founded by Poehler. In addition, she trained with Los Angeles' Groundlings Theater. Her mimicry repertoire includes a decent Drew Barrymore and a mean Joan Cusack (for whatever that one day might be worth).
Watkins also used to call the Groundlings Theater her stomping grounds — as did such past SNLers as Will Ferrell, Phil Hartman, Laraine Newman and Kristen Wiig. In addition to numerous one-off TV gigs, she enjoyed a three-episode arc on The New Adventures of Old Christine, playing Matthew's patient/girlfriend (see photo here).
Elliott and Watkins will make their debuts this weekend, when Paul Rudd hosts; watch promos below.